Flip your Classroom to Promote Communication and Collaboration – ELTA Webinar Reflection

Hello, my dear colleagues! I am currently working on research connected to digital competences of teachers in Serbia, and as a final result, I planned 4 webinar-based trainings.

The first training was titled Distance Learning in 10 Steps. After the first webinar, which was lecture-based, a survey was sent to all participants to distinguish their learning gaps when it comes to using technology in education. The survey used The Cambridge English Digital Framework for Language Teachers scale to determine the level of their digital competences. The scale was adapted to be used by all educators, not just language teachers.

The teachers’ competences were measured in the following aspects of the digital competences framework:

  1. Digital teacher;
  2. Digital classroom;
  3. Lesson preparation/activities using digital tools;
  4. Conducting a lesson by using digital tools;
  5. Evaluating the learning process by using digital tools.

As a result, I have developed webinar-based workshops based on the learning gaps of the educators who filled the survey. Read the reflection of webinar number 1 by clicking on Distance Learning Webinar (ELTA Serbia) reflection: Učenje na daljinu – refleksija vebinara. For more details, read the article in the ELTA newsletter (pages 40-47).

The other webinars were titled:

  1. Canva and Genial.ly: Content creation tools and live lesson interactivity;
  2. LMS – Edmodo and formative assessment;
  3. Flip your classroom to promote communication and collaboration.

Flip your classroom to promote communication and collaboration – Interactive webinar presentation

Explore the interactive presentation below to find out more information. 🗝

Webinar topics

In this webinar, we discussed the following aspects of the flipped classroom:

  • What is a flipped classroom?
  • How is the flipped classroom applied in a face to face instruction?
  • How is the flipped classroom applied in distance learning?
  • How is Bloom’s taxonomy transformed in the flipped classroom?
  • What are the development steps of the flipped classroom?
  • What are some in-class activities for the flipped classroom?
  • 21st-century skills: communication & collaboration;
  • How can we create the videos for the flipped learning classroom?
  • Which problems can be solved by using the flipped learning classroom?

Flipped learning as one of the blended learning methods

Distance vs. blended learning – in the distance learning classroom all instruction happens online, while in the blended learning classroom only a portion of the instruction happens online. Flipped learning is very adaptable so it is possible to have a flipped classroom in distance learning and face to face learning as well. While using the flipped classroom online, the discussion and collaboration portion of the classroom is also transferred to the virtual classroom.

Basic steps of the flipped classroom

  1. Before the lesson – teachers should create a quiz, a video and send it to students.
  2. During the lesson – teachers moderate the lesson and lead interactive collaborative activities.
  3. After the lesson – students complete a task, summary, investigation, or anything else to complete their self-reflection after the lesson.

How does Bloom’s Taxonomy change in the flipped learning classroom?

In the flipped classroom, the Bloom’s taxonomy gets a completely new dimension, where the new contents, completed during the class (reproduction and understanding phase) happen before the class, while the following phases (application, analysis, evaluation, and creation) happen in the class, collaboratively.

This is completely opposite from the classroom where the main method is frontal teaching and where the reproduction and understanding phase happen in the class, and the student is left alone to go through the application, analysis, evaluation, and creation phases at home.

Copyright aliceinmethodologyland.com – do not copy or share this gif.

What are the most common problems that can be solved with the flipped learning classrooom?

Here is what the participants said on Mentimeter:

What does research say about problems that can be solved with the distance learning classroom?

  1. Too much time is spent on frontal teaching;
  2. Development of critical thinking is not developed enough due to a lot of subject content;
  3. The attention is not on creativity and application of the learned content;
  4. Low level of collaboration among students;
  5. Low level of learner autonomy, etc.

Detailed steps for developing a flipped learning classroom

How does Bloom’s Taxonomy change in the flipped learning classroom?

  1. Choosing the topic – Select a lesson that you want to flip. Have in mind that it’s not possible to flip every single unit. Create a lesson plan with approximate outcomes
  2. Flipped homework – What is expected of students to complete before the lesson? How much time is that activity going to last, both for students to complete and teachers to create?
  3. Prepare your students – Demonstrate the use of the software. Explain the steps of the method you are about to use. Make materials available to everyone.
  4. Grading the activities – How will you give the feedback? How will you expand the material and connect it to the next unit?
  5. During the lesson – What can the students do during the lesson to improve the learning process?
  6. Activities after the lesson – Which activities can you conduct after the lesson? How can you help students to learn by themselves?
  7. Reflection and development – Create a reflection of your materials, and make a list of created materials and tools you already used to make your work easier.
  8. LMS platform – The final goal of the flipped classroom is to create an LMS or a website where you can develop your blended learning classroom further.

Low and high-structured flipped learning classrooms

I haven’t found this classification in the literature, but I think it is crucial because the level of development of the flipped classroom also depends of the educational context.

The low-structured flipped classroom is not obligatory. It represents reviewing a certain content which is followed by a simple answer to the given question in the comments, with a slight possibility for the topic to be discussed in individual lessons if students wish to discuss it. This is done in my mixed age online English classroom on Edmodo, where I teach individual lessons.

Low-structured flipped classroom

The high-structured flipped classroom has obligatory tasks with a video, followed by a test and optional discussion. In order to open the next module on Canvas LMS, the participants must successfully complete all the tasks. The video is created especially for this task, it is not taken from the internet and it is created for a professional development program.

High-structured flipped classroom

An example of an explainer video

Here is some advice on how to create an engaging video for your flipped classroom:

  1. Share a question at the beginning of the video to draw your audience in.
  2. A non-written rule for video creation – 1 minute for every grade – the number of minutes increases according to the grade.
  3. Types of videos: Whiteboard explainer video vs. screen recording vs. lecture video. Whiteboard video is when visuals are being drawn by a template hand as you speak, screen recording is when you create a presentation and narrate as you record the screen, while a lecture video is the recording of the narrator speaking without any visuals. Whiteboard videos are more efficient than other types of videos because they grab listener’s attention better,
  4. Tools for creating your video: PowToon for a whiteboard video, and Genial.ly + Screencastify for a screen recording video.

Watch an example of a whiteboard explainer video I created for my master thesis professional development course.

Basic types of tools used in the flipped learning classroom

Basic types of tools used in the flipped learning classroom are:

  • Content creation tools; 
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS);
  • Tools for communication;
  • Assessment and survey tools.

Intermediate and advanced tools for the flipped learning classroom

Intermediate tools require no extensive IT or ICT knowledge and educators can learn to use them in a short period of time.

Intermediate tools are:

  1. Edmodo;
  2. Genial.ly;
  3. Mentimeter;
  4. Padlet;
  5. PowerPoint prezentacije;
  6. Screen recorder – Bandicam, Screencastify, 
  7. Canva (photo i pdf dizajn);
  8. QR kodovi;
  9. PowToon;
  10. EdpuzzleKahoot ili Quizlet;
  11. Google Forms;
  12. Blendspace by TES;
  13. Interaktivni radni listovi – LiveWorksheets;

Advanced tools require knowledge of basic e-curriculum design, visual design, web design and system administration.

Advanced tools are:

  1. Self-hosted website;
  2. P5P plugin on self-hosted websites;
  3. More complex LMS –Canvas.instructure;
  4. Mailerlite or Mailchimp;
  5. Video scribe;
  6. Combination of digital tools to create a web quest.

When it comes to English teachers, there are a lot of websites with already created materials they can easily reuse in their flipped classrooms.

Tools for English teachers with ready-made materials:

  1. Khan Academy;
  2. PBS kids;
  3. Brain Pop;
  4. Ted-Ed;
  5. ISLcollective video lessons

Seamless promotion of communication and collaboration

Here are some questions connected to 21st-century skills we answered during the webinar:

  1. In what way the presented activities impact the development of communication?
  2. Which activity can be very efficient when it comes to communication?
  3. In what way the presented activities impact the development of collaboration?
  4. Which activity can be very efficient when it comes to collaboration?

I used an activity wheel where I spin the wheel, select an activity randomly and then read the steps of this activity to make the activity presentation more engaging for participants. The most important thing to do is to change activities more quickly if the flipped learning classroom discussion part is done online to retain students’/participants’ attention.

Some of the activities mentioned in the wheel were:

  1. Dyadic essays;
  2. Critical debate;
  3. Group investigation;
  4. iClicker/polling;
  5. Word webs/concept maps;
  6. Individual problem solving;
  7. IF-AT cards;
  8. Think, pair, share;
  9. Affinity grouping;
  10. Case studies;
  11. Fishbowl discussion;
  12. Three-step interview;
  13. Reaction sheets and more.

Subscribe at the bottom of this post to get 2 pdfs – one with more than 20 questions which will help you to develop your flipped classroom from top to bottom and another one which describes 10+ activities you can complete in your flipped learning classroom in great detail. P.S. The interactive wheel you see below is embedded in the presentation, so scroll through it to find the wheel.

Brainstorming activities during the webinar

  1. Brainstorming activity – share an example of an activity that you often use in your classroom and describe how can you flip it to apply the flipped classroom approach.
  2. Describe the activity shortly, in a few sentences.
  3. Share it on Edmodo in the designated post by commenting.
  4. The goal of the activity – creating a small base of activities and exchanging ideas on the spot.

Some of the activities participants brainstormed in comments on Edmodo:

What are the benefits of the flipped classroom?

  1. Less frontal teaching;
  2. Development of digital competences in teachers and students;
  3. A higher level of interaction between the teacher and the student;
  4. Development of critical thinking skills by posting open-ended questions;
  5. Development of social-emotional intelligence motivated by collaborative activities;
  6. Meaningful use of technology in education;
  7. Higher learner autonomy.

Short webinar feedback on Mentimeter

There were fewer participants in this webinar since it was marked as advanced, but the feedback was still very positive! 😊

Webinar recording

To conclude

The participants were already familiar with the flipped learning classroom, and this webinar only helped them broaden their knowledge and get new ideas they can apply in their own teaching contexts. Overall, I am very pleased with this webinar and I hope we cover more methodology in the future webinars, since the practical use of ICT tools is not very useful if we do not know the methodology for creating a meaningful blended learning classroom.

Digital tool tutorials in Serbian for further learning!

Activities used for in-class learning and discussion

Subscribe to access the freebie library with over 40 recordings, resources, and downloadable materials. When you subscribe you will receive a code for the library directly to your email!

Search for the following documents:

  • Student-centered In-class activities and assessment for the flipped classroom;
  • Detailed questions for the development of an effective flipped learning classroom.
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Alice Glass

About Alice Glass

Alice is a 27 years old preschool teacher (Pre-K) with a B.Ed. She is currently enrolled in her Master studies, with a double major, one of them being English teaching methodology. She is also an online ESL teacher and blog writer for British Council. Last but not least, she is a mother of a very energetic toddler.

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